SmallHD Firmware OS3 Adds Auto Calibration And Custom False Color

 Technique  Comments Off on SmallHD Firmware OS3 Adds Auto Calibration And Custom False Color
Nov 132017
 

SmallHD has released a firmware update they are calling their biggest yet. OS3 is available for all current SmallHD monitors, sporting advanced false color and waveform functionality, as well as much need auto calibration.

The above video gives you a nice little run down of SmallHD firmware update OS3.

SmallHD has focused on updating their false color and waveform exposure tools to make them much more customizable.

Customizable False Color

Previous to this update, the false color feature on SmallHD monitors was fairly standard – the image displayed was broken down into color shades that stretched a gradient from 0-100%.

Now, you can select specific IRE values (up to 10 different ranges) and assign them different colors.

How does this help? Primitive false color is one thing, but having the ability to really home in on certain IRE values is a step further in advanced exposure assistance.

You can set a certain level of IRE values that you know is good for skin tones, or set a low and/or high end cap on edge range values to ensure you don’t under or over expose.

It can be really good for greenscreen and cyc work also, as well as keeping track of exposure tones for long-term projects.

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Sony a7R III Announced Along Sony 24-105mm f4 and 400m f2.8

 Gear  Comments Off on Sony a7R III Announced Along Sony 24-105mm f4 and 400m f2.8
Oct 262017
 

Today is a Sony announcement day that sees the unveiling of the Sony a7R III and 24-105mm f4 zoom, and the announcement of an upcoming 400m f2.8 G Master lens.

Sony a7R III

The wait is over: Sony has finally unveiled the first in the new generation of the A7 series. As always, the Sony a7R III comes at the vanguard of the new announcements – ahead of the A7 and S models – and this time brings a host of improvements to existing features and a few new surprises.

As expected, the new Sony a7R III brings a high pixel-count sensor, with its 42.4MP of resolution once again making this the model aimed primarily at professional stills photographers. The camera’s back-illuminated Exmor R and BIONZ X processor make this model capable of capturing 10 still frames per second, for a buffer of 76 continuous compressed RAW or JPEG images. ISO is available from 100-32000, and Sony claims that noise has been reduced by up to a full stop.

All of this with the advanced autofocus capabilities we have come to expect from this line’s R model, thanks to its 399 phase-detection AF points across 68% of the image, in addition to 425 contrast-detection points. Sony also claims that the camera’s Eye AF performance has been improved when the subject is moving, backlit or looking down.

What about video?

Just like with the II, the new Sony a7R III is capable of recording internal 4K in both full-frame and Super 35mm modes. As you may remember from some of our camera tests of the previous generation, the A7R II offered a better 4K image in crop mode, so it remains to be seen whether this will still be the case with the a7R III (take a look at some comparisons here, and our review here). It’s worth mentioning that the camera also supports proxy recording for easier editing of high-resolution videos, particularly useful when dealing with the relatively processor-intensive XAVC codec. Additionally, one of the biggest improvements to the video capabilities of the camera is the ability to achieve an increased resolution of 5K in Super 35mm mode thanks to an oversampling of a 15MP section of the sensor.

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Sony a7R III Mirrorless Digital Camera Body

Sony FE 24-105mm f/4 G OSS E-Mount NEX Camera Lens

DJI AeroScope is Designed to Track Down Your Drone While Airborne

 Gear  Comments Off on DJI AeroScope is Designed to Track Down Your Drone While Airborne
Oct 262017
 

DJI has unveiled a new tool designed to increase safety and security in a world of crowded air space. AeroScope can identify and track any DJI drone by using the existing link between the drone itself and the controller on the ground. A bold move, you might think. Certainly, but also a necessary one!

Security is always an issue, and it’s always about keeping a balance. Surveillance, incapacitation and big brother authorities on the one hand, privacy and freedom on the other.

Photograph credit: Bertrand Bouchez | unsplash.com

We need regulation for the increasing air traffic caused by affordable drones, sure. But we also need to avoid a surveillance state in order to enforce these regulations. In comes DJI AeroScope, a tool which tries to satisfy both sides.

DJI AeroScope

This upcoming technology won’t be available for everybody. It’s designed to be used by authorized parties like police or aviation authorities only. AeroScope has been installed at two international airports since April, and DJI is continuing to test the system in other environments.

Basically AeroScope is a receiver that can detect any drones within its range once that drone is powered on. Before it’s even airborne, AeroScope can already know its location and its unique registration number, which relates it directly to its registered owner.

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LG’s V30 Smartphone: 10-bit color, LG Cine-Log Video in a Phone?

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on LG’s V30 Smartphone: 10-bit color, LG Cine-Log Video in a Phone?
Oct 162017
 

Move over Apple, there’s a new kid in town. The LG V30 takes mobile video to new heights with a 10-bit HDR Image Sensor and LG Cine-Log gamma.

In case you didn’t catch that: the LG V30 promises to record 4K video at 10-bit color depth with log gamma encoding. Before getting too excited about this, it is important to separate fact from fiction, and cinema5D will do exactly this with the LG V30 after some thorough tests, the results of which you can expect in a subsequent article.

Meanwhile, check out Parker Walbeck’s LG V30 vs RED Weapon video on his YouTube channel Fulltime Filmmaker:

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Fast and Affordable Mitakon Creator Primes Now Available for E-Mount

 Gear  Comments Off on Fast and Affordable Mitakon Creator Primes Now Available for E-Mount
Oct 162017
 

Lens manufacturer Zhongyi has expanded the Mitakon Creator line-up, with the 35mm f/2 and 85mm f/2 now available for Sony E-mount.

Zhongyi Optics is a lens manufacturer out of China that specialises in affordable fast glass and lens adapters under the Mitakon banner, which includes the Speedmaster series of primes and the Lens Turbo focal reducer – think of it as a Speed Booster without electronic contacts, but which has proven popular with beginner filmmakers due to its low cost and good compatibility with manual cine-style lenses like the Rokinons.

Their Mitakon Creator line of fully-manual primes consists of a 35mm f/2, an 85mm f/2 and a 135mm f/2.8, and had until now been available in Sony A, Canon EF, Pentax K, and Nikon F mounts. Now, the Mitakon Creator series is expanding, offering both the 35mm and the 85mm also in Sony E-mount.

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PolarPro FiftyFifty Review – A New Way to Compose Your Watersport Shots

 Gear  Comments Off on PolarPro FiftyFifty Review – A New Way to Compose Your Watersport Shots
Oct 162017
 

The PolarPro FiftyFifty is the latest gadget for the GoPro HERO 5: a dome for split shots over and underwater. Read on for sample footage and my impressions.

Having used GoPro gear for the last few years, I am constantly amazed by the evolution of the cameras and their accessories. I recently got my hands on the PolarPro FiftyFifty, a dome shaped-accessory that allows you to achieve shots above and below the water surface simultaneously.

Now you may ask, why would I need a dome? Couldn’t I just hold the GoPro half way over and under water? There are two reasons why this isn’t a good idea. First, the GoPro’s tiny lens makes it difficult to accurately hit that half/half position. Secondly, there’s the small detail of physics blurring your image: the surface tension of the water, in addition to the air and plastic front lens creates a contact angle with a water surface curvature, acting like an optical element. If this happens directly on your front lens, it blurs a lot of your recorded image. However, if this phenomenon happens further away – hence the dome – then it occupies only a small portion of the image, and you get a clear split shot.

The PolarPro FiftyFifty

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Panasonic GH5 Cage Review & Shootout – Zacuto vs. Movcam vs. Came-TV

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Panasonic GH5 Cage Review & Shootout – Zacuto vs. Movcam vs. Came-TV
Oct 022017
 

We put three camera cages for the Panasonic GH5 head to head for an in-depth look, review and comparison. Came-TV, Movcam, Zacuto… Let’s see which one comes out on top on this GH5 Cage Shootout!

To use the full potential of any camera, it is crucial to find the right cage on order to mount whatever third-party accessories you may need. That said, cages don’t just add several mounting threads and cold shoes, they also improve protection of the camera body, usually add better grips and handles, and protect the HDMI connector and other ports.

In the case of the Panasonic GH5, there is now wide variety of compatible cages, and the quality differences are quite significant. For this comparison, we received three popular cages for testing, but please note that this is not an exhaustive list of Panasonic GH5 cages.

Structure of Each Review:

  • Ease of assembly and disassembly.
  • How securely is the camera attached to the cage?
  • HDMI cable protector design.
  • Do we have access to the side outputs, slots and all the buttons?
  • Is it possible to use the Panasonic XLR adapter?
  • How good is the included Rod Support?
  • Quality of the Metabones Mount.
  • The top-handle design.
  • Overall ergonomics.
  • Conclusion.

At the very end of the article I’ll summarize the main pros and cons of each cage and announce our veredict. Please note that no cage is perfect and it’s up to each user to decide which cage better fits their needs and preferences.

Came-TV

Came-TV has the simpliest design out of all three tested cages. It does not feature HDMI support, but has many threads and offers a rod support piece. How well did it perform?

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Phantom Flex VEO 4K-PL Exclusive Hands-On

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Phantom Flex VEO 4K-PL Exclusive Hands-On
Oct 022017
 

Vision Research has recently introduced a new Phantom VEO 4K-PL, which like its older brother Phantom Flex 4K, can shoot up to 1000fps at full 4K DCI resolution, but in a smaller and more compact body.

What is the Phantom VEO line?

They say that when you touch a Phantom camera you go straight to heaven. At least that’s how I feel. Vision Research is a company that started out with high-speed cameras for military testing and analysing car-crash impacts, only to later turn its eye to the film industry with its revolutionary tech. In 2014, Vision Research introduced the mind-blowing Phantom Flex 4K camera, capable of 1000 frames-per-second at full 4K DCI resolution, in what many would consider the best quality 4K RAW compared to RED and even ARRI. Last year, Vision Research introduced the VEO line, a more compact version of their film industry cameras that continue the trend set by the ARRI Mini and RED – that smaller is better. Less weight and a more compact design mean more possibilities, such as the use of stabilisation platforms and even UAV. In comparison, the Phantom Flex 4K body weighs an incredible 5kg without ANYTHING on it. Add a lens, follow focus, rods, viewfinder, batteries, monitor and you can easily accumulate a weight that not many gimbals can handle.

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This Zunow Cine Wide Attachment CWA-114 Promises High-End Performance on Cine Zooms

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on This Zunow Cine Wide Attachment CWA-114 Promises High-End Performance on Cine Zooms
Sep 242017
 

The Zunow Cine Wide Attachment is the latest by the optics converter manufacturer. It promises x0.75 conversion with minimal light loss.

Zunow is known for its wide-angle converters, such as the DWA-075 for DSLR lenses or the WCX-100 for 4K zooms. The latest offering from Zunow is the CWA-114, an attachment specifically made with larger-diameter cinema lenses in mind.

Zunow Cine Wide Attachment: The CWA-114

The Zunow Cine Wide Attachment makes the focal length of your wide-angle cinema lens 0.75x larger through a 130mm front element that offers a minimal distortion of 1%, an almost maximum light transmission of 97% and 4K coating for maximum resolution from corner to corner. It aims to quickly offer a wide-angle option without the need to change lenses.

But what does this mean in numbers? Some of the examples provided by Zunow include:

  • FUJINON 20-120mm T3.5, which becomes a 15-75mm T3.6.
  • Canon 17-120mm T2.95-3.9, which becomes a 14-75mm T3.0-4.0 (with vignetting at 12.75-14mm).
  • ZEISS 21-100mm T2.9-3.9, which becomes a 15.75-75mm T3.0-4.0.

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A Look at Blackmagic’s URSA Mini Pro Mirrored SSD Recorder Add-On

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on A Look at Blackmagic’s URSA Mini Pro Mirrored SSD Recorder Add-On
Sep 212017
 
 URSA Mini Pro Mirrored SSD Recorder

Blackmagic Design has listened to customer requests and developed an SSD recorder for the URSA Mini Pro, which was announced earlier this year. This allows users to to get fast recordings on to larger-capacity media. It attaches to the rear of the URSA Mini Pro and enables you to mirror recordings in the same codec and format that is recorded internally.

The URSA Mini Pro Mirrored SSD Recorder connects via 2 SDI cables to the camera. However Tim tells us that it records the files as original data in the chosen format and not via an SDI stream.

For productions that require multiple sets of rushes, such as for sending to archive or a post-production facility, the new URSA Mini Pro mirrored SSD recording capability allows for a much faster workflow than needing to create copies of sometimes very large files or long video clips.

The choice of using SSDs was due to the low cost and wide availability of the medium. The SSD recorder works in the same way as the Blackmagic Design Hyperdeck, and recommends the same high-speed drives to use in the recorder. It mounts directly onto the camera, and is designed to be used exclusively with the URSA Mini Pro.

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The New Cmotion cPRO Wireless Hand Unit Offers Ultimate Focus Control

 Gear  Comments Off on The New Cmotion cPRO Wireless Hand Unit Offers Ultimate Focus Control
Sep 212017
 

We took a look at the new Cmotion cPRO lens controller, a feature packed, professional hand unit for professional focus assistance with Camin integration.

We saw a very interesting and affordable low end wireless focus control solution with Tilta’s new $399 Nucleus-N yesterday. Today we’re looking at state of the art high end stuff. Here’s what Cmotion had in store during IBC 2017.

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Sony Unveils 3 New 1-inch Sensor Camcorders – AX700, NX80 & Z90

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Sony Unveils 3 New 1-inch Sensor Camcorders – AX700, NX80 & Z90
Sep 172017
 

Sony has just announced three new 4K HDR (3840×2160) palm-sized camcorders during IBC 2017 in Amsterdam: the XDCAM PXW-Z90, the NXCAM HXR-NX80 and the Handycam FDR-AX700 with an improved AF system.

The new camcorders have a Sony 1-inch stacked Exmor RS CMOS image sensor, and all three support an instant HDR (High Dynamic Range) workflow with HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma). According to Sony, the most exciting thing about these new camcorders will be the fast Hybrid Autofocus system.

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Olympus E-M10 III – Sample Footage and Exclusive First Impressions

 Gear  Comments Off on Olympus E-M10 III – Sample Footage and Exclusive First Impressions
Sep 062017
 

Johnnie had a chance to be one of the first to get his hands on the new Olympus E-M10 III and test its video capabilities.

Finally, a short family summer vacation. It is time to pack, leave work behind and slow down to the point that only the necessary body organs are working (brain excluded). But wait, whom am I kidding? The courier just rang the door bell, bringing a small package containing the shiny new Olympus E-M10 III. Now, as a workaholic, my options are limited: cancel my vacation and risk an immediate divorce, or pack my production bag and search for a story to shoot while on vacation. Knowing from past experience that mixing a family activity and work is a bad idea, I decided to leave behind my ambitions of a big production and scale everything down to the minimum. My simple tourist setup consisted of this small new Micro Four Thirds camera, the extremely cheap Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ pancake kit lens and my trusted Heliopan Vari ND filter. THAT’S IT – no tripod, no slider, no gimbal, just pure simplicity. And enough to be reassured that there is no substitute for having fun when filming with a small camera, no matter how good its bigger brothers may perform.

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New Samsung T5 SSD is Super Fast – Enough for 4K Raw?

 Gear  Comments Off on New Samsung T5 SSD is Super Fast – Enough for 4K Raw?
Aug 232017
 

The recently-announced Samsung T5 SSD is a little V-NAND storage beast, capable of throughput speeds up to 540MB/s.

The Samsung T3 has been a popular external SSD for content creators since its introduction in 2016 thanks to its fast transfer speeds, rugged build and small size. Samsung has just updated the T3 with the new T5 version, which features a jump to the USB 3.1 Gen 2 protocol, doubling the potential data transfer rate from 5 to 10Gbps.

The 64-layer V-NAND architecture of the Samsung T5 offers potential transfer speeds of up to 540MB/s, making it one of the fastest external SSDs in the market and in theory fast enough to edit 4K raw footage off of. This is great as it would mean editing off of a single drive rather than from a RAID – the kind of storage system that can offer the required data transfer speed.

Bear in mind, though, that the T5 needs to squeeze every bit of those new 10Gbps it possible can, meaning that in order for the drive to reach its full transfer-speed potential, your computer needs to have a USB 3.1 Gen 2-compatible port. If you are not totally clear on the ins and outs of external drives, ports and transfer protocols, let me point you to this excellent recent article by Tim: Looking For a Fast Portable Drive? It May Not Be As Fast As You Think.

The Samsung T5 features an aluminium unibody for maximum ruggedness, weighs only 51g and is smaller than a business card, keeping with the dimensions of the earlier T3.

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Sigma Cine High Speed Zoom Line – Sample Footage & Review

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Sigma Cine High Speed Zoom Line – Sample Footage & Review
Aug 172017
 

In this guest review, DP and Director Thomas Schweighofer takes a look at the Sigma Cine High Speed Zoom line during a documentary shoot with a RED EPIC-W Helium 8K. Please also read Graham Sheldon’s extensive review of both Sigma zoom lenses, which we published a few months ago. 

I recently had the chance to shoot a documentary project in the US featuring Austrian musician Dominic Muhrer and American Superstar Joshua Ledet. In order to achieve a better image quality in this particular project, I wanted to get my hands on some of the new Sigma cine primes, but at that point in time it was just too early to get a set. Instead, the folks at Sigma contacted me and told me to test their Sigma Cine High Speed Zoom cine line. I agreed but, being so used to shooting with primes, I didn’t expect too much. 

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Fixed & Downloadable: Sony FS5 Firmware V4.02 with Hybrid Log Gamma

 Gear  Comments Off on Fixed & Downloadable: Sony FS5 Firmware V4.02 with Hybrid Log Gamma
Aug 102017
 

FS5 Firmware V4.02 has just been released, fixing some of the bugs introduced with the highly-anticipated V4.0.

A few weeks ago, Sony aimed to greatly increase the functionality of the Sony FS5 by releasing FS5 Firmware V4, bringing HDR support with the introduction of new Hybrid Log Gamma Picture Profiles, reduced minimum ISO for Slog 2 and 3, as well as support for 120fps continuous shooting with an optional license sold separately (you can read our post on this release HERE).

Only a few days later, however, Sony pulled the download due to “a minor issue found within the HDR function”. This caused concern among users who had already downloaded V4.0, as there is no way of rolling back on this camera’s firmware to a previous instance.

Sony removed the firmware V4.0 download, prompting worries from users.

True to their word, Sony have now released FS5 Firmware V4.02 available for download from HERE. The release notes also finally indicate the “minor issues” introduced with V4.0. From the Sony site:

V4.02 fixes the following issue:

1.      Video image may be recorded with short delay of 2 or 3 frames of audio in other recording modes than AVCHD.

2.      When choosing [HLG1],[HLG2] or [HLG3] in the PictureProfile and CENTER SCAN in the CAMERA/PAINT menu, rebooting the camera may cause brightness and color shift.

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DJI Spark Review – Is it Really Suitable For Professionals?

 Gear  Comments Off on DJI Spark Review – Is it Really Suitable For Professionals?
Aug 012017
 

As a professional filmmaker and DJI Mavic shooter, Tamás Kiss wanted to test the capabilities of the tiny new DJI Spark drone, so he took it to the challenging Icelandic climate to put it through its paces. Here’s his DJI Spark Review, that confirms a lot of the observations I made during my hands-on session with the tiny new drone. – Introduction by Sebastian Wöber.

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Exploring the Limits – Resolution, HDR, HFR and Human Vision, by Richard Lackey

 Technique  Comments Off on Exploring the Limits – Resolution, HDR, HFR and Human Vision, by Richard Lackey
Jul 012017
 

More resolution, High Dynamic Range (HDR), higher frame rates… How exactly do the limits of the human visual system impact our technology?

When is enough, enough? This is one of the most interesting questions brought to mind after a discussion that came up at the recent ARRI Broadcast Day held at Die Fernsehwerft studio facilities in the new creative district of East Berlin Harbour. In a studio filled with international guests from across the industry, Marc Shipman-Mueller – ARRI’s head of camera systems – opened up this topic in a way that has permanently realigned the way I view today’s core developments in digital cinema acquisition, post and delivery.

These are purely my opinions based on an evolving thought process rooted in an exploration of new technology, and not an absolute truth. I may well end up being wrong, and am happy to learn things that may change my views expressed here. In fact, I’d love to open this up to you, and hear some of your thoughts, so I encourage you to leave comments.

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HIVE LIGHTING Wasp 100-C – Omni Color LED Ready to Go!, by Fabian Chaundy

 Cinematography  Comments Off on HIVE LIGHTING Wasp 100-C – Omni Color LED Ready to Go!, by Fabian Chaundy
Jun 142017
 

After a successful Kickstarter campaign, HIVE LIGHTING are just a few weeks away from finally bringing their much-awaited Wasp 100-C LED fixture to market.

Like we originally reported back in December 2016, the Wasp 100-C is an 85W LED spotlight with the kind of output you would get from a 650W tungsten fixture. In addition to the usual advantages of LED — such as lower power consumption and heat generation — the Wasp 100-C also offers Omni Color LED technology, allowing it to reproduce millions of different hues thanks to an array of LEDs of various colours, in addition to pure white.

In comparison to something like the ARRI Skypanel — a very desirable Omni Color LED fixture — the Wasp 100-C comes in a compact form factor that allows it to be a lot more portable than something in a panel form-factor. The light can also be powered with anything above 95Wh, so you can stay mobile with a V-Lock or Gold mount and a D-Tap to 4-pin XLR adapter.

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Apertus AXIOM Beta – Your Open Source Camera. An Update and Recent Footage, by Johnnie Behiri

 Cinematography, Gear  Comments Off on Apertus AXIOM Beta – Your Open Source Camera. An Update and Recent Footage, by Johnnie Behiri
Jun 142017
 

It has been a while since we last reported about the status of the apertus AXIOM beta camera, so last week I took the opportunity to meet and talk to Sebastian Pichelhofer who is acting as AXIOM’s project leader, association chairman and one of the software developers, in order to find out what is new and in what shape and status the project currently is.  

AXIOM Beta Developers kit

It was nice to hear and see that this unique open source/open hardware motion picture camera system venture is really moving forward to the point where developers and early adopters alike can now already get their kit. Mind you, if you are an “end user” like me, then the camera is NOT YET ready for us as the enclosure and actual  operating system of the camera are still under development. Without those, operating the camera can be a tedious work.

 

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